Like one other previous reviewer the car I have driven was a 1.8 automatic (this time a US hire car). I drove the Corolla for about 100 miles around the San Francisco bay area, and generally found the car to be a good drive. The 1.8 feels quick enough for most situations, and the automatic gearbox seems to be reasonably smooth. The biggest problem with this car is the driver's seat - it's simply not comfortable, and in fact gave me back ache for several days afterwards. If it wasn't for that I'd rate the driving experience as a 4 - much better than the Auris which replaced it. The Corolla was extremely economical by US standards, though I suspect over here it would simply be on a par with most other 1.6/1.8 petrol autos. In other words, ok for the type of car, but not up to the best in class. Toyotas are generally reliable so I would guess repair costs should be few and far between. The interior seemed a little cramped in the back, and the boot could certainly have been bigger. The general dashboard and switchgear was dull but functional. So again, pretty decent, but could be better. With a more comfortable seat this would be better than all but a Focus of similar age - a decent buy if you can live with the seats.
Fredrik Rich, West Yorkshire, September 25th 2007